“. . . My country is a desire in chains . . .” (Mahmoud Darwish)

❶ Ministry of Information: The occupation’s crimes require urgent international intervention
. . . . . ❶ ― (ᴀ) The EU already recognises Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, just more quietly than Trump
❷ Coming period is very critical, says Abu Rudeineh
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴀ) Group: Occupation constantly violating Palestinian rights, including freedom of expression
. . . . . ❷ ― (ᴃ) Army  shuts  down  main  road  to  the  north  of  Ramallah
❸ Opinion/Analysis: Trump’s decision a reflection of the UN earlier colonial impositions
❹ POETRY by Mahmoud Darwish
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 11, 2017 ― The Palestinian Ministry of Information in a statement said it considers the terrorism spree that the Israeli occupation army continues to commit against Palestinian people and journalists, a crime that requires urgent protection for the people, as it considers silence on such crimes suspicious.
____“The Ministry affirms that Israel and its gangs and settlers won’t stop their brutal crimes by their own, but rater require urgent international intervention to end the occupation and bring lead the criminals the International Criminal Court,” statement said.
___“The Ministry considers that the struggle of our people and their quest for freedom and self-determination is based on our natural right and cultural heritage and right to statehood with Jerusalem as our capital, noting that our people will not be intimidated by the injustice that the occupation has resorted to, and that our people will have East Jerusalem as our eternal capital, with its Islamic and Christian shrines, as we historically and righteously did in the past,” it added.  MORE . . .
The Middle East Monitor – MEMO
Dec. 11, 2017 ― Viewers watching the televised emergency session of the United Nations Security Council on Friday may be forgiven for thinking the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) representative to the UN was trying to bore the Israeli ambassador into submission with his speech.
[. . . .]  In it he listed decades worth of UN resolutions and declarations stating that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state with the Israeli capital in West Jerusalem – the long promised two-state solution.
[. . . .] . . . the US government has always sided with Israel. This alignment has been particularly strong since the 1967 war when Israel attacked its neighbours and swallowed up the remaining 22 per cent of Palestinian land, leading to a new wave of refugees and the fifty-year military occupation (of the West Bank – including East Jerusalem – Gaza, and Syria’s Golan Heights) which endures till this day.
[. . . .] …the disquiet currently being expressed against Trump by those European leaders who are lamenting damage to the non-existent peace process is entirely hypocritical. And in fact, the new Trump policy in Jerusalem is only a more open form of the same malign policy the European Union has been carrying out in practice for many years.
___Despite repeated expressions of “concern” by the EU over Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, the EU in practice encourages the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
___It supports and even bankrolls Israel to the tune of millions of Euros with programmes like Horizon 2020, which funds Israeli high-tech research, giving EU tax-payers’ money over to the apartheid regime and the arms firms who “battle test” their weapons on Palestinian civilians.    MORE . . .
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA 
Dec. 11, 2017 ― The coming period is very critical and requires bold Palestinian and Arab decisions, Presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said on Monday, stressing once again Palestinian rejection and denunciation of the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
___“Our message to the entire world is that Jerusalem is a Palestinian city and the US decision is rejected and denounced,” he told WAFA. “What is required now are bold Palestinian and Arab decisions for the coming stage, which is very important and very critical. The Palestinians and Arabs should stand together.”
___He said President Mahmoud Abbas is going to meet on Monday with his Egyptian counterpart Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo to discuss various issues, mainly those relating to the Palestinian cause and other common Arab concerns, as well as the agenda of the upcoming Islamic summit.   MORE . . .
Palestine News Network – PNN
Dec. 11, 2017 ― Sunday (10-12-2017) marked the 69th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, through which the United Nations established the foundations of the protected rights of all people. However, the rights of the Palestinian people have been flagrantly violated since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories 50 years ago and all international resolutions on Palestine have remained dead on paper and on top of all that the president of United States a few days ago recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; in clear breach of several resolutions issued by the UN and the security council.
___The past few day’s four people were killed and hundreds of wounded Palestinians demonstrators who came out to protest against this decision, is only another chapter in the series of Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people.   MORE . . . 
.  .  .  .  .  ❷  ―  (ᴃ)  ARMY  SHUTS  DOWN  MAIN  ROAD  TO  THE  NORTH  OF  RAMALLAH
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 11, 2017  – The Israeli army used cement blocks to cut off the main road connecting Ramallah to Jalazoun refugee camp and the northern West Bank, according to local sources.
___They said closure of the road forced Palestinian cars commuting on that road to search for alternative longer routes, causing traffic jams and long delays.     MORE . . . 
The Palestinian Information Center 
Ramona Wadi
Dec. 11, 2017 ―   Since 1967, the UN regularly adopted resolutions concerning the status of Jerusalem, most of them dealing with withdrawing military forces, condemnation of land confiscation and settlement expansion, as well as requesting that Israel refrains from holding military activities in the city. A recurring warning was that no action should be taken to change the status of Jerusalem.
___US President Donald Trump exposed the fallacy behind international recommendations yesterday with his unilateral declaration of recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Away from the outpouring of indignation from Palestinians who have resisted the Zionist colonial project, the opposition to Trump’s declaration has been mostly diluted by statements that simply acknowledge the action taken as reprehensible, instead of focusing upon responsibility, accountability and ramifications – all of which should lead directly to the UN.
___The hype generated by Trump on previous occasions, which illustrated his administration’s support for Israel, is becoming a convenient tool for Israel, the PA and the UN, due to such tactics generating a fragmented response and one that strengthens reliance upon symbolism. Trump’s statement goes against UN resolutions. However, it is a known fact that UN resolutions are a façade for the allowance of international law violations.    MORE . . .    ..

Soft rain in a distant autumn
and the birds are blue, blue
and the earth is a festival.
Don’t say that I am a cloud over the airport.
I want nothing
of my country that has fallen from the window of the train
except my mother’s scarf
and reasons for a new death.

Soft rain in a strange autumn
and the windows are white, white
and the sun is an orange grove in setting,
and am I a stolen orange.
Why do you run from my flesh?
I want nothing
from the home of knives and birds
except my mother’s scarf
and reasons for a new death.

Soft rain in a sad autumn
and the trysts are green, green
and the sun is clay.
Don’t say that we’ve seen you in the withering of jasmine,
saleswoman of death, and aspirin.
My face is a dusk,
my death is a fetus
and I want nothing
from the country which has forgotten the accent of its evacuees
except my mother’s scarf
and reasons for a new death.

Soft rain in a distant autumn
and the birds are blue, blue;
the earth is a festival;
the birds have flown into a time of no return.
Do you want to know my country
know what is between us?
My country is a desire in chains,
the kiss that I’ve sent in the mail
and I want nothing
from the country which has slain me
except my mother’s scarf
and reasons for a new death.

— From WHEN THE WORDS BURN: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN ARABIC POETRY: 1945-1987. Translated and edited by John Mikhail Asfour. Dunvegan, Ontario, Canada. Cormorant Books, 1988. Available from Amazon

“. . . the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run . . .” (Robert O. Smith)

Israeli policemen stand guard during clashes that erupted after a house demolition in the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shuafat. Sep. 5, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

❶ The gruesome murder of five Arab boys refuses to disappear — 55 years on

  • Background: “Civilization, Savagism, And The Presence Of Burning Children.” Cross  Currents

❷ Palestinian Jerusalemite children sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison
❸ Minor injured, detained during clashes near Ramallah
❹ Conference: The Challenge of Jubilee
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
+972 Blog
Makbula Nassar
Nov. 5, 2016
Beaten, tortured, and shot to death: this is the story of five Arab boys who met a gruesome fate at the hands of Israel’s security forces in September 1961. Ben Gurion’s government refused to tell the truth of what really happened.   More . . . 
Makbula Nasser, active in political and feminist affairs, is a journalist and blogger for Local Call, where this article was first published in Hebrew. Read it here.    

  • Smith, Robert O. “Civilization, Savagism, And The Presence Of Burning Children.” Cross  Currents  66.2 (2016): 204-214.     Full article    

In the early morning hours of July 31, 2015, a Palestinian home was firebombed in the West Bank village of Duma. Flames killed 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabshe and severely injured his parents and 4-year-old brother. Two homes attacked that night in Duma were spray-painted with the Hebrew words “Revenge” and “Long live the king messiah,” alongside a Star of David.
[. . . .]  . . .  Israeli discourse in the days immediately following these attacks protected the unity of Israeli society by asserting distinctions between the civilized and the savage. In effect, this short-lived period of national introspection helped Israelis confirm the essential righteousness of their national project. Analysis of English language Israeli news media informed by the framework provided by Roy Harvey Pearce in Savagism and Civilization (1953) shows how this episode reproduces, in miniature, how white American society engaged with its own indigenous populations. This approach deepens recognition of the United States and the State of Israel do not just share parallels, but are somehow, in the words of Steven Salaita, “confederated” settler-colonial societies.
[. . . .]  Five days after the attacks, Israeli novelist and commentator David Grossman indicted Israeli right-wing politics for nurturing a climate of extremism. Grossman suggested “the consciousness of an occupying people” includes the idea that “there are two kinds of people, and the fact that one is apparently subordinate to another means that it is naturally also inferior to the other,” that “the occupied is less of a human being than the occupier.” Thus, “the person who burned down the Dawabsheh family home knew . . . only that they were Palestinians.” This, Grossman says, “was adequate reason in his eyes . . . to kill them . . . their mere existence justified their murder and their removal from this world.” This is the logic of savagism. The savage exists, but should not. Their race is run. For Grossman, the danger is that Israelis too could become savages.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network      
November 8, 2016
Two more Palestinian children were hit with lengthy sentences by an Israeli court on Monday, 7 November. The two Jerusalemite boys, Munther Abu Mayalah, 15, and Mohammed Taha, 16, were each sentenced to 11 years in Israeli prison; each was also fined 50,000 NIS (approximately $13,000 USD).
__The two boys are Palestinian refugees from the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem. Monther and Mohammed were accused of “attempted murder” for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli settler youth at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on 30 January 2016. The 17-year-old in question was allegedly “lightly wounded.” They were also convicted of “possession of a knife.”
[. . . .] Palestinian children accused of “security” offenses are subject to sentencing equal to an adult for any offense carrying a potential sentence of greater than five years’ imprisonment. Such allegations include common pretexts for imprisoning Palestinian children, such as stone-throwing or affiliation with a prohibited organization.   More . . .

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Nov. 10, 2016  A Palestinian minor was shot and injured Thursday when Israeli soldiers opened fire at protesters near Atara checkpoint, north of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
___It said 15-year-old at Anas Mahmoud Zaid, from nearby Jalazoun refugee camp, was shot in the thigh during clashes between Israeli soldiers and school students near the checkpoint.       More . . .     

Sabeel Cornerstone Newsletter    
Naim Ateek
Nov. 10, 2016
The last fifty years have brought untold suffering upon our Palestinian people.  Our only crime was to say ‘no’ to the occupation of our country and to resist it as an aberration and which is illegal under international law. Since 1967, the Israeli government has been oppressing the Palestinians and denying them their human and political rights.
___In 2017, Palestinians will be marking 50 years since the loss of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.  It is a fitting time to lift up the biblical concept of Jubilee when all those who were deeply in debt to others, enslaved by others, had their land forfeited to the stronger others, and were driven out from their agricultural lands by the militarily powerful others – to all those, in a Jubilee year, God expects and demands justice to be done.  Their rightful ownership must be restored.  God is a God of truth and justice; and justice and righteousness must be done in the land.
10th Sabeel International Conference, March 7-13, 2017       

“. . . I have nightmares. Sometimes I dream that the police are in my house coming to take me . . .” (Muslim Odeh, 12 years old)

Funeral of 13-year-old Ahmad Sharaka at Jalazone Refugee Camp, West Bank, Oct. 12, 2015 (Photo: Still from Youtube)

❶ 20 Palestinians injured, 1 critically, after Israeli forces violently disperse march

  • Background:  “Childhood: A Universalist Perspective For How Israel Is Using Child Arrest And Detention To Further Its Colonial Settler Project.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies

❷ IOF arrests six Jerusalemites
❸ Military Court Watch (monitoring the treatment of children in detention)
❹ Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
Oct. 15, 2016
Some 20 Palestinians were injured Saturday evening — one critically with a live bullet to the head — during clashes at the main entrance to the al-Jalazun refugee camp in northern Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, following a march commemorating the FIRST  ANNIVERSARY  OF  THE  KILLING  OF  13-YEAR-OLD  AHMAD  SHARAKA, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces last year during clashes.     ___Palestinian youth threw rocks, Molotov cocktails, and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who attempted to disperse the demonstration by firing live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas canisters at the dozens of participants in the march, before Israeli soldiers eventually retreated to the illegal Israeli Beit El settlement.        More . . .       Background . . .

  • Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Nadera. “Childhood: A Universalist Perspective For How Israel Is Using Child Arrest And Detention To Further Its Colonial Settler Project.” International Journal Of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.3 (2015): 223-244.   Source . . .  

As defined by the World Health Organization, child maltreatment, which is sometimes referred to as child abuse and neglect, includes all forms of physical and emotional ill treatment, sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, development or dignity.
[. . . .]
Muslim Odeh was first arrested at age nine. Now 12 years old, Odeh has been imprisoned 10 times over the course of three years. Odeh’s arrest scenarios violate a number of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) stipulations and recommendations made by UNICEF, including arrest during early morning hours (Recommendation 3i), blindfolding (Recommendation 4iii; Recommendation 4v), and hours of interrogation without parental or legal supervision or knowledge of charges (Article 37c; Article 37d). Odeh also recalls being beaten to the point where he vomited. The aftermath of his arrests reveal that Odeh suffered not only physical pain, but also psychological trauma: “I have nightmares. Sometimes I dream that the police are in my house coming to take me, but then I wake up to see that I’m not in prison but in my house.” Odeh’s reaction to his ordeals – the apprehension he now feels when sleeping in his own bed, for example – illustrates the extent to which Israeli state violence invades even the most intimate everyday sphere. Odeh’s case shows that within Israel’s established state framework, United Nations Conventions are overridden and disregarded with impunity. International and human rights law fails to apply to the state apparatus or moral consciousness. Instead, children such as Odeh are rendered “non-children” who fail to qualify for basic human protection.
[. . . .]     Israel is the only known country in the world to try children in juvenile military courts. Despite the nomenclature, the juvenile military court uses the same facilities and court staff as the adult military court. The extra-judicial military court established solely for trying children negates Israel’s responsibility, not just to the UNCRC, but also the Geneva and Hague Conventions. This juvenile military court is rife with injustice and discriminatory practices. For example, children are not accompanied by a lawyer or parent during their interrogations, and are often unaware of the allegations that have been made against them.
[. . . .]    . . . institutionalized violence embedded in Israel’s settler colonial project has come to accept the stealing of childhood – the criminalization and suffering of children – as unavoidable and “normal.” As the earlier evidence makes abundantly clear, Palestinian children are becoming, with greater frequency and more intense efforts, the major targets of Israel’s eliminatory state violence. Israel employs a number of tactics – discriminatory arrests, home demolitions, forced evictions, brutal interrogations, torture within prison systems, inequitable practices in the juvenile military court – that traumatize Palestinian children. These efforts to marginalize and terrorize Palestinian children, sometimes before they are even born, highlight the security regime’s designation of such children as a threat to the state. Palestinian children comprise approximately 50 percent of the entire Palestinian population and are therefore an important factor in the future and success of the Israeli Zionist project. Thus, the maltreatment of Palestinian children plays an important role in propagating the structure of Israeli settler colonialism.

Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Oct. 16, 2016
Israeli occupation authorities arrested Sunday at dawn six Jerusalemites after raiding their houses in Silwan and Old City in occupied Jerusalem.
___The head of the committee of Jerusalemite detainees’ families, Amjad Abu Asab said that the IOF ARRESTED  TWO  YOUTHS  AND  THREE  MINORS  FROM  SILWAN.
___It also arrested a 50-old man after raiding his house in the Old City. The IOF took all of them to al-Muskubīya interrogation center.      More . . .    

Briefing Note – October 2016
[. . . .]    According to the most recent IPS data, 414  CHILDREN  (12-17 YEARS)  WERE  HELD  IN  MILITARY  DETENTION  AT  THE  END  OF  APRIL  2016. This represents a 91 per cent increase compared with the monthly average for 2015. The latest data includes 12 girls; three children under 14 years; and 13 children held without charge or trial in administrative detention.       More . . .    

❹ Source for continuing coverage:

“. . . The prison is a brief cloud The bitter winds. . .” (Fouzi El-Asmar)

(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you.)

Ofer Israeli occupation prison
Ofer Israeli occupation prison

❶ Israel Court Reduces 75-Year-Old Prisoner’s Sentence by 3 Years
❷ Army Kidnaps Nine Palestinians in the West Bank, Uproot Farmlands
❸ Monitor: Israeli Settlers Assault 3 Palestinians near Nablus
❹ Soldiers Close the ‘Container Roadblock’, Invade Town near Bethlehem
❺ Op-Ed. Palestine and Israel: The Double-Standard
❻ Poem by Fouzi El-Asmar

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Sept. 8, 2015
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel’s Ofer military court on Tuesday reduced the sentence of a 75-year-old Palestinian prisoner by three years, the Palestinian Authority prisoners committee said.
____Fouad al-Shubki, the oldest Palestinian prisoner being held by Israel, had his 20-year sentence reduced by the court following an appeal presented by the committee
More. . .
Related . . . 

Sept. 9, 2015
Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Wednesday at dawn, nine Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, during military invasions targeting various Palestinian communities, and uprooted agricultural lands near Hebron.
____Several military vehicles invaded the al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, before breaking into a number of homes, and searching them, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) has reported. [. . . . ]
____It is worth mentioning that 95  PALESTINIANS  FROM  THE  AL-JALAZOUN  ARE  HELD  BY  ISRAEL (emphasis added) in a number of detention and interrogation centers.
More. . .

Sept. 9, 2015
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Tuesday evening violently assaulted three Palestinians near the illegal Israeli settlement of Shave Shomron in northern Nablus while they were returning from visiting the grave of Riham al-Dawabsha, another victim of settler violence, a local monitor said.
____Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that settlers used stones and sharp tools to attack the three Palestinians while they were driving near the settlement.
More. . .

Container Roadblock, File photo - Radio Bethlehem 2000
Container Roadblock, File photo – Radio Bethlehem 2000

Sept. 9, 2015
Eyewitnesses said the soldiers closed the roadblock, causing a huge traffic jam, especially since it is located on the main intersection that links the southern part of the occupied West Bank with the central and northern parts.
____They added that the soldiers searched dozens of cars without any cause. . . .
More. . .

❺ Opinion
Robert Fantina
Sept. 6, 2015
In the world of marketing, it is a given that what ‘delights’ the customer today, will simply be an expectation tomorrow. For example, when cameras were first introduced on cell phones, this was an exciting concept . . .
Today, however, one would be hard-pressed to find a cell phone that didn’t have a camera [. . . .]
____How often do we hear or read about more Palestinian homes being bulldozed? Business as usual, of course, so we don’t consider the suffering of the victims; it is all too commonplace.
____ This week, remarkably, a video went viral of a heavily-armed IDF (Israeli Defense Force) terrorist/soldier attempting to arrest an 11-year-old boy [. . . .]
____Israel, predictably, is attempting to spin this episode to attempt to make the IDF terrorist appear to be the victim. [. . . .]
____Let us consider for a moment the international reaction if the roles in this episode had been reversed. Imagine, if you will, that a heavily-armed Palestinian soldier (if Palestine had an army), had arrested a young Israeli boy with a broken arm.
More. . . 

Night in my cell is life still in bud.
Beloved, you are like the breaking of light,
Like truth
Like a song dissolved into longing
Tearing apart the draped evening
Wreaking the flow of moans.

The joy of daylight
embraces the darkness
in my cell;
Persistent silence here
will turn the blade
of the swindler, the torturer
the thief of my childhood’s dreams
In the day’s heat.

In your name
dusk has touched my forehead
grey dreams flooded my head
But my will remains uncowed
for since I came to manhood
with my eyelashes
I have borne your ancient love
You remain my lighthouse
And only refuge.

We are here to nurse at life
Your full breast stretches the lightening
of hope and will
It shall flower a new prophecy
in our souls
It shall loosen the chains
and hurl light over our love.

The prison is a brief cloud
The bitter winds
of a cold journey
Which we must accomplish.

Our road is wrapped in sighs,
tears and thorns
In all that dark claws can weave
but our love shall triumph
At the end of the road.

we shall meet with the sun
Its rays shall enter every house
Fill every crack
Flooding the mountains, hills and plains.

As I sit in a corner of my dim cell
lacing the seeds of the little light
stretching them to these lines for you
I was struck
with the joy of a child:
With all the might of their hatred
that tears this life apart
They forget they cannot put
my mind in jail.

El Asmar, Fouzi. POEMS  FROM  AN  ISRAELI  PRISON. Intro. By Israel Shahak. New York: KNOW Books, 1973.
Available from Amazon.
About Fouzi El Asmar.